Ramit writes-“I have been associated with a single organization without the need to switch jobs [after college]; but I fear someday when I will feel stagnated here, I may be pretty ill equipped in the job market on the resume front.”
A friend of mine (we’ll call him Joe to protect the innocent) recently lost his job. He had been working for the company for almost ten years. One afternoon the entire senior staff was brought into a conference room and told by the CEO that they had to let go of nearly half of Joe’s department. Upon hearing this, Joe immediately pulled up the most recent copy of his résumé to start sending it out to prospective employers.
Joe’s résumé was almost four years old. The last time he had updated it was when he was promoted to the job he was about to be fired from. There was a whole slew of responsibilities and functions of his job that were missing. Joe did his best to go through and update his résumé, but he told me that he felt like there were things he missed because he just couldn’t remember them.
The key to maintaining a great résumé is keeping it updated. Set a reminder for yourself in Outlook or Gmail that will occur once a quarter or every six month and remind you to update your résumé. When you do, print out a copy and make annotations on it where you would be able to enhance something or add new roles and responsibilities. I cannot say enough about having a Master Résumé on file where you can keep all information you might ever need for a job application.
My friend Joe realized that his new job was not going to be exactly the same as his last job, but that was OK. He looked back at projects that he had been a part of and realized that there were several presentations that he had contributed to in terms of the artwork and graphic design. He had always loved art and wanted to do something with his art.
Have a Portfolio
This may sound like something that would only be useful for artists or musicians, but it can apply to just about any position. Anything your produce in your daily work (projects plans, newsletters, new processes, even reports) can be added to your portfolio as demonstration of your ability.
Keep a Goal in Mind
You may have heard the adage that “you interview for your next job every day.” This is absolutely true and it is import to make sure you know what your plans and goals are. Take some time each week and assess where you are in your career and where you are trying to go. Write down your plans and refer back to them regularly.
If you see yourself going in a direction that leads you away from one of your goals, take the time to redirect and make sure everything you do at work is helping you achieve your career goals.
Joe did manage to find a new job just a few months after finding out he was being let go. He brought samples of the presentations he had worked on with him on interviews and was likely hired due to two things. First, he was able to show the interviewers some of his past work. That work provided evidence that he wasn’t just someone who liked to draw stick figures. Secondly, he had experience that was completely separate from his art and that made him a well rounded candidate for the job.
Even though Joe now has a great job doing work that he loves, he still makes sure to keep his Master Résumé updated. He even has two different templates for his résumé, one that is in a more traditional text format and one that incorporates graphic elements that he may use for more artistic work in the future.
Have more questions about writing your résumé? Leave them in the comments below.